Less than a month after imposing temporary ban on sale of agriculture land to foreigners for next seventeen months, the Parliament passed on July 29 with its first reading a bill suspending change of status of agriculture land plots to non-agriculture for the same period of time.
Change of status till December 31, 2014 will only be possible in case of “urgent necessity” after proper evaluation and decision by the government, according to the bill, sponsored by two Georgian Dream lawmakers Gigla Agulashvili and Zurab Tkemaladze.
These two MPs were also behind the proposal imposing ban on sale of agriculture land plots to foreign nationals and foreign companies till December 31, 2014.
One of the major goals of this recent bill, according to its sponsors, is to close loophole which allows bypassing temporary ban of sale of agriculture land to foreigners by changing status of such land plots to non-agricultural.
MP Agulashvili, who chairs parliamentary committee for agriculture, said number of applications from citizens requesting change of status of agricultural land increased after the temporary ban on sale of agriculture land to foreigners was enforced on July 17.
“Request for change of status of total of 65 hectares of land has been submitted [to the authorities] over the past one week,” MP Agulashvili said.
Like imposing moratorium on sale of agriculture land to foreigners, UNM also condemned this recent, related bill as populist move, which would harm the economy and investment climate of the country.